Instructional Strategies: Daily Review & Warm-Up

Instructor: Derek Hughes
Starting a class period with a short review and warm-up activity can have many benefits for student learning. This lesson describes these benefits and some ways you can successfully incorporate these strategies.

Starting Off Right

If you have any teaching experience (or really have been in any classroom ever), you know the first few minutes of a new period can be hectic and stressful. As students enter the room, they are probably coming from a hallway where they were just talking with their friends. They might still be trying to continue conversations while walking into the classroom. When the bell rings, chances are they won't immediately quiet down.

This is one of the reasons using a daily review and/or warm-up activity is so important for the beginning of a class period. A daily review is a short (3-5 minutes) session in which you and students recall information learned in the previous class. A warm-up activity is a short (again, 3-5 minutes) that students complete as they get settled into class. Let's take a closer look at these instructional strategies.

Daily Review

Picture yourself in your high school chemistry class. Chemistry is a complex, highly technical subject in which you learn a lot of new words and concepts that you have never seen before. One day you might learn about balancing chemical formulas and the next you might have to apply that concept to a more complex problem.

Now imagine that you learned each topic in chemistry only once. Your teacher introduced it, taught it, and you practiced and then never saw it again until the test. If that sounds stressful, then you probably already understand the need for a daily review. During a daily review, students and their teacher spend a short amount of time recalling what they learned the last time they met.

A daily review can take many forms, such as:

  • Short teacher presentation
  • Short ungraded quiz
  • Quick update of a study guide

A short teacher presentation includes only the most important information that students need to recall. The daily review can also take the form of a short, ungraded quiz that determines what information students recall from the previous period or what needs to be retaught.

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